“The O2 arena has proved the ability to host successfully the world’s greatest musical or sporting events, however we have been aware for a long time that there is an extensive space in the building that is not being used efficiently,” says Robert Schaffer, the chairman of board and CEO of Bestsport company and O2 arena. “In addition we have perceived the interests of promoters and organizers who wanted to place attractive events into arena but there was a question about appropriate space. In the second half of the year 2015 the first serious reflection about rebuilding has come to our minds and we have decided to complete the ‘small arena.’”
The new complex which is directly linked to the O2 arena from the south has four floors and total area of almost 50 000 m2. “Small arena” will have 21 halls of different sizes at disposal in total capacity of 10 000 visitors. The largest hall with a capacity of up to 4.5 thousand people will be used as a space for organizing medium-sized concerts and sporting events. On every floor of the complex there will be created 13 000 m2 for exhibitions and commercial use.
The new congress centre O2 universum has been designed by ATIP company (architects Martin and Vladimír Vokatý) as well as the O2 arena. The architectural design has been developing more than a year and half, partly it was determined by the existing building and finally it follows the original perimeter walls. The reconstruction of the building has begun in October 2017. Currently most of the demolition works are done and design goes into the construction phase.
Bestsport, the operator of O2 arena – one of the most modern multifunctional halls in Europe with the capacity up to 20 thousand seats – is a member of the PPF group. It invests in a range of industries from banking, financial services over telecommunications, biotechnologies, insurances, real estates to agriculture. PPF operates in Europe, Russia, Asia and North America. The group owns assets exceed of 27 billion euro (to 31 December 2016).